Zulu Dreams is a personal memoir and true story about how Richman was able to use education and tennis to overcome the hardships of the Apartheid regime and live a better life in America. Zulu Dreams offers his message for others to understand his struggle, and how important education is in achieving one’s goals.
Education is the key to escaping poverty. Richman knew at a very young age he wanted to move to America and rescue his family from the Apartheid of South Africa. The same year he lost his father was the year that Richman discovered his love and passion for tennis. Richman spent day-after-day hitting a tennis ball against a wall with a racket that had broken strings, wearing tennis shoes so worn through they had holes. This daily dedication earned him attention from a white English tennis coach, who offered to coach Richman for free. He studied hard and practiced tennis three to four hours every day after school. This hard work and dedication eventually earned him a tennis scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). At UNLV, Richman earned his Bachelor’s Degree, later completing his Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology.
His hard work and love for the game of tennis manifested in his two sons, Nicholas and Yannik. Richman taught them the game, stressing the importance of education and the possibilities it can bring into one’s life. Nicholas graduated from Harvard University and Yannik graduated from Georgetown University, both on tennis financial aid packages. Richman’s story speaks of the struggle of overcoming cultural adversity, and how the game of tennis became his ticket to a new life, in a new world. Zulu Dreams is a true story of the triumph over poverty and circumstance. If you enjoy reading about inspirational people who have overcome enormous adversity in the pursuit of their dreams, read Zulu Dreams and experience the power of humanity at its best.
Zulu Dreams is available to buy on Amazon as either a hard copy for $20.00 USD or Kindle E-book for $9.99 USD.
“Richman's story is a poignant, captivating account of a unique journey from poverty in Apartheid South Africa, through Europe, and ultimately to America, made possible through his accidental discovery and eventual mastery of the sport of tennis. Through numerous barriers and struggles, opportunities created by tennis allow him to survive and ultimately become a vehicle for his sons to attend the most prestigious colleges in America. His account is well written, full of rich details, which educate readers about history, politics, race relations and societal value placed on sports. Indeed a truly inspiring American success story!”
“I fell in love with this book and could not put it down. It covers all the truly important things in life. I also learned quite a bit about what it takes to raise a sports star. Richman's writing is visceral- you get it immediately.”
“I usually read fiction or comedy, but a friend recommended this book and I couldn't put it down! Richman will make you laugh, cry, and reflect introspectively. Zulu Dreams will inspire and challenge you to do more with your life and appreciate all you have, living in a developed country. Richman is living the American Dream, a touching rags to riches story; rich with accomplishment, pride, and dedication. I don't believe the story ends with Zulu Dreams and look forward to the next chapter in his life.”
“Zulu Dreams is an amazing testimony to strength gleaned from faith and perseverance. Had I not met Mr. Mahlangu before reading his book, I would not have believed that anyone could survive so many obstacles and heartbreaks before his dreams could come true. In the end, a must read for anyone reaching for their hearts desires.”
“As a family, we have come to know Richie Mahlangu through our daughter who is a junior tennis player. We watched him coach both of his sons during their late teenage years, observed the effort, compassion, and love for the game he brought to coaching them. We also knew deep down he was also teaching his children important life lessons on the court and raised two fine young men in the process. Our family enjoyed his book and could hear his voice speaking to us with each and every word. He has endured many life experiences and we have learned from him, through our relationship with him.”
"Zulu Dreams is an incredible story about a boy under unimaginable circumstances rising up to find success through overcoming a series of obstacles, social pressure and cruelty. It is difficult to even think about living through an era where racism and social oppression were not only acceptable, but systematically encouraged by the government. Against all odds, with sheer determination, self-discipline, hard work and healthy amount of luck, Richman Mahlangu seized these opportunities with gratitude and perseverance. The lessons he has taken away from these experiences were felt and carried on by his two sons, where they went on to achieve some of the highest academic and athletic accomplishments in the world by all standards. This story embodies the values and character of human beings that Nelson Mandela was preaching for, and inspires those who are marginalized that anything is possible. In closing, Nelson Mandela once said “A winner is a Dreamer who never gives up.” Richman Mahlangu fits this definition. "
"Every page of Zulu Dreams increasingly opens your eyes to the taken-for-granted world we live in and teaches you something new. The more I was reading it, the more I felt honored to be invited into Richman’s life and learn from his dreams, his struggles, and, especially, his strength. For this reason, I asked Richman to be a guest lecturer in the Sociology of Leisure class I teach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, during which he talked about his book. My students were extremely fascinated with Richman’s words, which lead to an engaging class discussion on racial and immigration issues in the sports realm. Everyone should read Zulu Dreams, but I cannot think of a better audience than young generations, whose future actions need to be shaped by stories like Richman’s."
"Reading Zulu Dreams, as a resident living in the same city as the author, was a powerful reminder that the neighbors you don't yet know may be leading extraordinary lives... and everyone (near and far) has the opportunity to tell a beautiful story.